I love this quote and it explains to me why I need to have so many journals and notebooks around me!
It reminds me of the distinction I learnt whilst studying drama at Exeter University which was heavily influenced by studio based practice and ensemble techniques, and where we were taught to constantly ask “Why theatre?” - in other words what does it do that another art form does not.
Therefore, why do we say “playwright” and not “play-write”?
It is as if a playwright (distinct from a play-write), is someone developing their work in a process that is as much a physical process (like a wheel-wright) as an intellectual one.
These are questions that have led my continuous artistic search to the borders of different art forms (dance theatre, physical theatre, performance art, martial arts in relation to performance etc) including to most recently an exploration in the arena of opera and experimental music in collaborations with Argentinean composer Oscar Edelstein as both a vocalist and video maker.
Edelstein's concept of "Acoustic Theatre" raises the question of sound in space. It is question that was explored in the early acoustic experiments of the cathedral builders and Venetian masters (think whispering galleries and cathedrals constructed to be apt for choirs), up to references of the to the 3D space of German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen whose piece "Gruppen" requiring three conductors and three orchestras was recently performed in the Turbine Gallery at Tate Modern by London Symphony Orchestra directed by Simon Rattle), passing through Gustav Mahler, Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, Arnold Schönberg, Geörgy Ligetti and Luigi Nono.
With Acoustic Theatre, Edelstein is collaborating with physicists in Argentina to create a new kind of space for the experiencing of sound. He is working in depth with Manuel Eguía (Physicist / Acoustic Researcher) who is an Associate Professor at the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in Buenos Aires and a member of CONICET (National Science Council) whose background is in Complex Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics and Theoretical Neuroscience. Together they are working with Sonic Crystals in an novel approach to sound in space.
There is a long history of composers working in an interdisciplinary contexts that border with art, architecture, theatre and dance. Equally, in recent years artists have taken up this idea of sound in space and begun experimenting with the borders of sound.
So for me Hélène Cixous - professor, French feminist writer, poet, playwright, philosopher, literary critic and rhetorician - captures that implausible aspect of the process of putting into words and for the need to physicalise the out of reach. She eludes to that special finding of what is not there - that just because.
Cixous is best known for her article '' The Laugh of the Medusa.''
Sometimes we find ourselves searching in and from a “don’t know” space that is filled with echoes, reflections, and glimpses of children’s games.
It is un-nerving.
I think of the term “playwright.” Why don’t we spell it “play-write”?
Because we need our hands not just our heads to shape the new.
"Playwright" comes from the archaic English term, wright. We are like wheelwrights, cartwrights - ready not only with ears and eyes, but with hands trained to shape and craft play.
We are fishing in the land of paradox to catch edges, moments unseen, and words un-whispered.
I want my intuitive leaps to lead to something timeless and hypnotic – creating a space to pause and re-figure.
Let’s hope that we can mix vulnerability with skill, to keep things as raw and fresh as possible - to fill a bottle with light and more that just one P.O.V, perhaps some Beckett, Brecht, and a little Shakespeare.